Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Jul 2012

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION: Optimising Building Costs and Improving Productivity


Recent Gauteng Business News

One of the biggest costs associated with running a business lies in the physical property and the buildings that a business inhabits. These buildings are a vital aspect of the enterprise, however they are often inefficient and end up costing more than they should. Facilities Management (FM) aims to address this challenge, but in order to achieve maximum efficiency it should not simply focus on managing the buildings themselves. FM should take on a holistic role that also examines how people interact with their environment, how the layout and interior design affect workflow and how space can be utilised more efficiently to minimise costs and optimise productivity, says Philip Gregory, Johnson Controls Senior Regional Executive - Middle East and Africa

Technology has changed the way people work, the way that they interact, and the way that they use the space around them, and as a result has changed the way that facilities should be managed. Office setups from the days post computers and the Internet are simply no longer conducive to productivity. Making use of holistic FM can reduce the total cost of an organisation’s buildings as well as providing cost transparency and benchmarking against peer organisations. By delivering safe, comfortable working environments and resources, it can positively foster productivity of the organisation’s most important assets — their people

Ultimately, professional and holistic FM has a triple bottom line effect: on people, the planet and on profits. People are more creative and productive in dynamic spaces with a positive company culture. This also benefits the planet because the amount of space required can often be reduced and energy can be utilised more efficiently. Both of these factors have a positive impact on profits, because more creative, productive people improve productivity and reduced energy consumption lowers costs.

However, for Facilities Managers, managing busy building portfolios presents numerous daily challenges. In addition to ensuring the delivery of the daily support services and responding to the changing requirements of the occupants, FMs deal with activities ranging from ensuring uptime of critical equipment; creating healthy, flexible and energy efficient working environments; hosting key external customer events, or providing management information to support decision making. These challenges need to be met while maintaining the visibility and responsiveness required of a customer service leader. Outsourcing these services to a specialist enables management to focus on their core business while ensuring the daily FM challenges are met head on for maximum benefit.
Organisations can leverage huge benefit from the great depth of global knowledge that such a provider delivers, while making certain that each element is taken care of as part of a bigger picture designed to deliver optimal results across the board. A single invoice across FM services is also more efficient than attempting to manage each service independently, and organisations can leverage greater economies of scale in terms of pricing because they are outsourcing their non-core services to a provider that focuses on these as a core business.

Holistic, professional and intelligent FM is the way of the future. The evolution of smart buildings with technologies that can control heating/cooling, security and energy consumption from anywhere in the world will drive greater efficiencies than ever. Using sophisticated cost and performance data from property assets, will in turn drive improved efficiency and effectiveness of buildings and ultimately operational efficiency.

The more integrated an FM service is, the greater the bottom line benefits that can be realised. By ensuring that each element works together and that the use of space, energy and people is optimised, efficiencies are improved by a larger margin than they would be if each area was tackled separately.

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